Midstate Corridor group to meet with governor

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Members have been proposed for the regional development authority that will actively work to make the Midstate Corridor — a bypass road that would ultimately connect Dubois County to I-69 — a reality.

The five-member authority was approved by the Dubois County Commissioners Monday. The mayors of Jasper and Huntingburg as well as the Spencer County Commissioners must also approve the board.

The proposed board includes Mark Schroeder, chairman and CEO of German American Bancorp; attorney Scott Blazey; Barry Day, president and CEO of Superior Ag; Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College; and Ken Mulzer Jr., president of Mulzer Crushed Stone. Each member would have a four-year term on the board.

The Midstate Corridor group has been working to get a four-lane, limited-access highway that would run north from Owensboro, Kentucky, go around Huntingburg and Jasper and continue north to connect to I-69. That corridor would ease traffic on U.S. 231 between I-64 and I-69 through Dubois, Martin and Spencer counties, organizers have said.

The group is hoping to get the Indiana Department of Transportation to make the road more of a priority, and is looking to contribute local funding to help the project along, including money for the feasibility study. The agreement for the feasibility study is still being created.

The state Legislature passed a bill last year that allows municipalities participating in a regional development authority to create a fund specifically for regional infrastructure projects and contribute local money to those funds. The legislation also permits these RDAs to apply for federal FASTLANE grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which fund road and bridge projects. Dubois and Spencer counties, Jasper and Huntingburg agreed to come together to form the RDA.

Once approved by all four communities, the RDA will be the entity to enter into an agreement with INDOT for a feasibility study on the project.

Dubois County Commissioner Elmer Brames, who sits on the Dubois Strong board and presented the RDA board to the commissioners Monday, said that the only project the RDA is looking at is the Midstate Corridor.

Some of the local people involved in the Midstate Corridor effort, including some proposed for the RDA, will go to Indianapolis May 14 to discuss the project with Gov. Eric Holcomb and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. The group’s plan is to present the formed RDA and the agreement for the feasibility study at the meeting.

Fundraising to help with the local contribution for the study has already started in the private sector, which includes companies and businesses, Brames said. Funding that will be requested from the public sector, such as from governments, will be proposed soon, he said.

Conceptual maps of the corridor are below.

Map1.PDF

Map2.PDF




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com